Shropshire's teddy bear factory launches giant version of Christopher Robin’s Edward Bear

The UK’s oldest remaining teddy bear manufacturer is celebrating the 100th birthday of Edward Bear – the teddy bear that inspired AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories – by unveiling a giant version of the famous character.

Edward Bear celebrates his 100th birthday at Merrythought with office manager Louise Noon
Edward Bear celebrates his 100th birthday at Merrythought with office manager Louise Noon

As tall as the average three-year-old child, Merrythought’s brand-new ‘Giant Edward’ is an oversized version of the original bear, who was Christopher Robin’s cherished childhood toy, given to him by his mother Daphne as a first birthday present in August 1921.

Daphne’s husband and Christopher’s father, AA Milne, was so enamoured by the partnership he witnessed between a boy and his bear, that he began to write stories about their journey through life together – and Winnie the Pooh was born.

Hand-crafted in Ironbridge, the premium teddy bear, which costs £1,095, is 39 inches tall and weighs 6.5kg. It features a golden mohair coat and sandy-beige pure woollen felt paws.

Fourth-generation managing director Sarah Holmes said: “This special bear has been handmade in our factory in Ironbridge using the same traditional skills and natural materials as Christopher Robin’s original Edward Bear all those years ago.

“Now more than ever parents are recognising the value of traditional play, and encouraging children to use their imagination.

Stories

“The teddy bear is the perfect antidote for the digital world and a true companion for life’s journey.”

Originally created by Farnell in 1921, Edward Bear was brought to life again for the 2017 Goodbye Christopher Robin film.

Merrythought, which now owns the Farnell brand, was asked to recreate the bear that featured throughout the award-winning film.

Merrythought’s original 18-inche Edward Bear is also available to buy throughout 2021.

It is sold with a complimentary gold-plated keyring that has been specially created to mark the character’s 100th birthday.

Giant Edward is available to buy from merrythought.com and harrods.com

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